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Title: How Long the Night : a novel, followed by an essay, 'The ghosts of Muranów : confronting Poland's Jewish past'
Author: Ilowska, Izabela
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 1437
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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My novel, 'How Long the Night,' and my essay, ‘The Ghosts of Muranów: Confronting Poland’s Jewish Past,’ focus on the relationship between urban space, memory and identity. Before the Second World War Muranów was one of the largest Jewish districts in Europe. In August 1939 Poland’s capital was home to 380,000 Jews, which accounted for about 30 percent of the city’s total population. During the war the district was the central part of the Warsaw Ghetto located near the Umschlagplatz, the place from which Jews were transported to concentration camps. After the failed uprising in 1943 the Nazis burnt the entire quarter to the ground. There was nothing left, except for heaps of rubble. The debris was to be the foundation on which the new socialist realist residential district would stand. The new Muranów, erected on the ashes of the former ghetto, is a space of absence, emptiness and repressed guilt. There are no physical traces of the Jewish presence in the area, except for commemorative plaques, monuments or obelisks. Former tenement houses, shops, synagogues are gone; street names and their layout are different as well. Nevertheless, the former Jewish district is present in images, dreams (or nightmares), in fantasies, memories and stories. My novel and my essay explore the connection between place, history, memory and trauma. The space of Muranów becomes a symbolic trigger for investigation and re-examination of the forgotten or suppressed past. What is more, the novel examines the way a foreign language serves as a tool through which painful and repressed stories can be (re)told.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available